L’dara review: Déjà fu all over again? | BareFacedTruth.com

L’dara review: Déjà fu all over again?


deja vuDéjà vu, (/ˌdeɪʒɑː ˈvuː/) from French, literally “already seen”, is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not.

Deja Fu (n.) A fictional martial art that can only be described as the feeling that one has been kicked in the head this way before.
I’m going to choose the latter for my title.  We’ll see if it fits.

L’dara review: Deja fu all over again

The latest world changing miracle in skin care is a called L’dara.  But what you will see is something so uncannily similar to other MLM opportunities.  OK, let’s just say that this is not the most original network marketing company around.  Why argue with success?  A “me too” company.
Read the label first
So, what about the product?   Also known as woflberry, goji berry is the fruit of Lycium barbarum or Lycium chinense. It belongs to the family of plants named Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco).
Gogi berry juice, or wolfberry tea,  may have safety issues. There is evidence of interactions between warfarin and goji berries. Several reports document bleeding after ingesting wolfberry tea.
Red Hot Wrinkleberries

Red Hot Wrinkleberries

Atropine,a toxic chemical found in other members of the Solanaceae family, occurs naturally in wolfberry fruit.  Potentially harmful interactions may occur if wolfberry is consumed while taking  medications commonly prescribed for hypertension and diabetes.

From the goji wiki: Organochlorine pesticides are conventionally used in commercial wolfberry cultivation to mitigate destruction of the delicate berries by insects. Since the early 21st century, high levels of insecticide residues (including fenvalerate, cypermethrin, and acetamiprid) and fungicide residues (such as triadimenol and isoprothiolane), have been detected by the United States Food and Drug Administration in some imported wolfberries and wolfberry products of Chinese origin, leading to the seizure of these products.  Let’s assume that the company has a better supply route.



The clinical trials they report are off the (believability) charts.  “In a clinical study on L’dara Serum, the appearance of wrinkles was reduced by a remarkable average of 35% in only 4 weeks!”  They claim to have hired a prestigious firm to do the clinical trials. Too bad they (apparently) didn’t consult a single skin physiologist, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon.  Real regeneration of human facial skin takes months, not weeks.  Anything quicker is not regeneration, it is something else.  Examples of something else are  edema (puffing up with fluid) , fibrosis (see e.g. our Avon Anew review), and hypermitosis (uncontrolled cell division such as with suraphysiologic doses of  drugs).  But even the latter two take time – edema is more likely.

What causes THAT? Inflammation is the likely culprit. It is a known skin irritant, and causes allergic sensitivity reactions.  Any study purporting those results should be looked at with overwhelming suspicion.

From an active point of view — there is zero evidence in the peer reviewed published scientific journals that it does good things for skin.  Goji berry is one of so many herbs used in Asia with purported health benefits. As an antioxidant, it is not very stellar.  Many other antioxidants surpass its capacity.

latex allergyIn fact, it is associated with sensitivities and allergies when applied topically. Turns out that people allergic to latex gloves are also prone to be allergic to the berries. I know a lot of folks in the medical profession who have to stay away from latex.

Oh, but it’s patented you say. Right, that’s meaningful! You can patent just about anything. No proof of usefulness or efficacy required. Same old tricks of the trade.

So what do they charge for this skin cream with a dirt cheap plant material as an active? $120 per bottle. Wow! I would estimate it costs them about $1.20 to make.  That’s a 10,000 percent markup.



OK, now we want to be fair and evenhanded, as always. So, we invite any opposing views. We invite any physicians or scientists involved with this company to contact us here, and challenge our opinions.  We will publish  opposing views of the science, and encourage gentlemanly debate on this and all science issues.

Meanwhile – the feeling that one has been kicked in the head this way before can be avoided. Just stay away!

Caveat emptor all over again.



  1. Wendy Andric says:

    What about Dr. Neil Gordon?

    • drjohn says:

      Don’t know Dr. Gordon, but if he is at APAPS this weekend tell him to look us up! We are presenting. If he believes the L’Dara MLM dream story or science fiction and is gaga over its underwhelming 34% user trial results, we would love to talk and see where he is coming from. Our minds are open, if skeptical.

  2. Donna Darlington says:


  3. Cindy Grimley says:

    Although, this is an interesting blog I think that the readers should know that Dr. John is the CEO at Cellese which has an anti-ageing product called AnteAGE with Stem Cytokines. I have read the Scientific Rationale for use of Cytokine Based Topical Adjuvants in Aesthetic Medical Practice, Cytokines in Dermal Regenerative Medicine, The Advanced Cytokine Reading and more which is listed on your website. The graph’s of the ratio of TIMP’s and MMP’s in AnteAGE are impressive. However, I only see testimonials from people who have used the product. Where are the clinical studies on AnteAGE—- the actual product? The scientific literature on your website is all about Cytokines. There is a huge assumption that this correlates with YOUR anti-ageing product. I work as a medical case manager and am very familiar with wound care given that one of my clients is a triple amputee and has reoccurring wounds from his special prosthetics. I am not discounting the research on Cytokines but I do look for clinical studies as a way of providing the truth. Please enlighten me as to where I can find the clinical studies for AnteAGE.

    Having said all of this, I have two goji berry bushes in my backyard that are organically grown. I utilize both western and eastern medicine in my own personal life. The goji berry has been around in Chinese Medicine for over 4,000 years and has many healing properties. I love the goji berry! The L’dara website http://www.ldaraserum.com discusses the clinical trials and the lab they utilized was AMA Laboratories in New York http://www.amalabs.com to perform a third-party clinical trial on L’dara Serum. This lab has been recognized around the world as the leader in skincare product testing. I have also conducted research and am published in my field. The first thing I look for in a research study is the validity and reliability factor in which there should be at least 30 participants….AMA Labs did this with L’dara Anti-Ageing Serum. The goji berry, natural products and a real clinical study tells me a lot.

    FYI, I looked up Dr. Neil Gordon since you don’t know who he is…….http://www.retreatatsplitrock.com/physicians/neil-a-gordon-m-d-2. He has a five star rating on HealthGrades.

    • drjohn says:

      Cindy, Thanks for reading up on us. Your revelations about us developing products in addition to our university-based stem cell research is hardly news – the Truth Pair O’Docs page (see prominently on the menu up there) is our second most accessed page here. We reveal it all there, full disclosure. Not much of a “gotcha” is it?

      I am sorry that you had trouble finding clinical trial results for AnteAge. You can find them here, but let me summarize briefly based on the criteria you think important. First, in terms of sample size, our trial had 49 subjects (much more than the 30 you suggest as adequate). In terms of study end points, there were 12 standard skin measures, both objective and subjective. They were: Tone, Dryness, Brightness, Softness, Pore size, Texture, Redness, Age spots, Fine lines, Blotchiness, Unevenness of color, Deep lines (rhytids, or wrinkles).

      The results are displayed in this graph. ANTEAGE CLIN TRIAL

      Note that the degrees of improvements with AnteAge are on the order of 86-100% across the board. Compare this to the “remarkable” results reported by L’Dara: Reduced the appearance of wrinkles by an average of 35% (some participants achieved a 50%, 60%, up to 78% reduction in the appearance of wrinkles). Note But since the average is 35%, then some must have had little if any improvement).

      All of a sudden, this REMARKABLE l’dara stuff seems, well, not quite so remarkable.

      Now let’s address your pooh-poohing of the aspect of having some background science. That fact that thousand of scientists across the globe are working daily to sort out the complex world of cytokines, growth factors, skin & stem cells. Do Pubmed search and find literally thousands of citations related to our work. Knowing the physiology and biology of skin really does help.

      There are a half dozen papers published on Pubmed mentioning goji berries. None are clinical trials. None talk about the physiology of skin and what goji does. Two of them demonstrate that it has anti-oxidant properties in the laboratory (not in humans). But …can you think of a fruit or berry that doesn’t? So what? What is the clinical significance? An important question we always like to start with.

      Then there is this little gem…


      J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):803-6. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0176.
      The marketing of dietary supplements in North America: the emperor is (almost) naked.

      Many different dietary supplements are being sold in North America. The quality of the evidence supporting their efficacy covers a wide spectrum: Some are based on solid science (such as vitamin D and fish oil), whereas with most supplements there is little or no supporting evidence. Types of supplements commonly sold include exotic fruit juices (such as goji juice) and single herbs or mixture of herbs. Common claims made in support of particular supplements are that they are rich in antioxidants, induce detoxification, stimulate the immune system, and cause weight loss. Supplements are commonly sold through health food stores and by multilevel marketing. Sales may be promoted using bulk mail (“junk mail”), spam e-mails, and Web sites. A large part of marketing is based on claims that are blatantly dishonest.

      Whereas supplements for which good supporting evidence exists generally cost around $3-$4 per month, those that are heavily promoted for which there is little supporting evidence cost about $20-$60 per month. The major cause of this problem in the United States is weakness of the law. There is an urgent need for stricter regulation and for giving better advice to the general public.

      So, it seems goji is the poster boy for marketing excesses of fruit juices. $60 per month for $3 worth of berries. I would wager it is even worse for the skin care nonsense. There you go. Even the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine says so, and they don’t often speak out against such things. My only dispute with them is that the emperor is not half naked, he is totally starkers and is going door to door and to church picnics selling his MLM opportunity /slash/ miracle juju with everything hanging out.

      If any scientists from L’Dara or AMA labs (do they have any?) want to come here and engage us in an honest science debate about any of this, we would be happy to oblige. Open invitation.

    • Kim Irwin says:

      Cindy, you ROCK! Thank you for establishing the basis of facts needed to contradict this ridiculous review. They didn’t know who, and couldn’t find, information on Dr. Neil Gordon? That alone illustrates their inability to strive for the facts on a product. Reviewing the AMA Laboratory results is enough to quiet this unfounded review.

      Thank you

      • drjohn says:

        Ridiculous because it doesn’t comport with your opinion? based on what? – your many years of scientific training and advanced degrees? or because you want to hawk these and earn a few bucks?

    • Stacey says:

      THANK YOU, Cindy! Anyone that believes someone like Dr. John, will believe anything they are told and anything they read to be gospel, instead of getting the facts. I have partnered with L’dara International and it is an Amazing Company that cares about the people partnered with them and have put a lot of research and dollars into all of their products and they have science to back it up! Dr. John, you should spend your time worrying about yourself instead of tearing others down to try and make youself look better.

      • drjohn says:

        Translation: do not believe career research scientists & physicians working full time in the field – instead you should believe those people selling the product through an MLM who have no professional training. Oh, really?

  4. Cindy Grimley says:

    Dr. John, The average reader of this blog will not be knowledgeable enough to know the difference between a clinical trial and clinical trial that utilizes a third party independent laboratory. Any type of research study that utilizes a third party for their research holds much more credibility in my eyes as well as most researchers. What is most bothersome to me is the entire undertone of this blog where you “slam” in a sardonic and slanderous manner of other skin care products , i.e. Nerium, Avon Anew and L’dara just to name a few while deceiving the readers. I use the word deceiving because the reader does not know from this blog that you have a proprietary interest in AnteAGE. This will be my last post because it is not worth my time to try to educate the readers of this blog!

    • drjohn says:

      Let’s make sure we have this right. You started with the gripe that we work for a company doing leading edge stem cell work, as though it was come deep secret. We in turn informed you that all this has been disclosed from the very start and you only need to check us out on the page right here on this blog that talks about who we are. We pointed it out, again (see the menu right up there), in response to your comment. Now you come back again with your notion that we are “deceiving the readers” by not disclosing this. Huh??? Did you not bother to read what we said? These products we invent must be the world’s worst kept secret. Then you complain because we apply scientific rigor to product evaluations, and find some you like to be sorely lacking in same. You had false notions questions about our research, and we pointed it out, which perhaps you didn’t like because your favorite product and its weak evidence for efficacy seems impotent by comparison. But you didn’t even bother to comment back about the $3 worth of berries for $60 observation by some medical colleagues not associated with us at all. You then accuse of of slander of the products you defend, Nerium and others. But it is only slander if it is not true, and we don’t find them, or you, refuting the facts we have presented or answering the questions we have asked. Well, I guess we should be eternally grateful that you took the time you did to “educate” us. I’m sure the readers of this blog will be sorry to see you go.

  5. Kathy Wray says:

    Honestly, grow up!

  6. Adrianna says:

    Regardless of this LONG blogging boring argument between Dr. John and Cindy Grimley and clinical testing etc…it all boils down to what I see in the mirror after using L’dara for only 4wks……the proof is in the puddin..so to speak. L’dara…simply shows RESULTS RESULTS RESULTS!!!!! Amazing product!! FINALLY….Absolutely Loving it 🙂

    • drjohn says:

      Before you ask, YES she sells it. Damn the science. Damn the hype history. I’m selling it, so it must be good! And I’ll prove that by saying AMAZING 3 times (repeat after me) and using exclamation points (!!!!!!!). I mean really. That trumps reason, rationality, and truth. Right?

      • Charlotte says:

        I have a question for dr. John:
        why does this matter to you so much?
        you may be right that most people who try this product only notice marginal benefits.
        why does that matter, some people have noticed a lot of benefit. my mom loves it. and no I do not sell it. I have noticed years coming off her face recently with this product she seems happy. and this was a woman who was only able to use olive oil on her face for 15 years because of skin sensitivities.
        maybe this is a pyramid scheme marketing does that actually change the fact that it might be a product worth having?
        if you’re really not being paid by anyone which I find hard to believe. then you might want to consider the fact that you seem to be aggressively attacking what appears to be simply people’s opinions.
        whether this is based on pseudoscience or not the evidence appears to indicate that it works for alot of people

        • drjohn says:

          There are levels of evidence. This testimonial stuff is the lowest level. Equivalent to an opinion. That’s not real science. We happen to think science is the best way to evaluate these things.

  7. Rose says:

    Dr. John – I used the product before selling it and because of the results I decided to become a marketing partner. I applaud Cindy for taking the high road on this and not responding to your childish remarks. You are obviously “in bed” with this other product, but that does not give you the right to bash other companies who are just trying to make other people happy about their skin without going under the knife or pumping chemicals intro their face. Shame on you for being so judgmental! If you were a real doctor you would have more respect for others.

    • drjohn says:

      It’s quite interesting to me how the L’Dara folks are so riled up about this straightforward review, argued strictly from the scientific evidence base, by physician-scientists. Now it seems we don’t even have the right to express our opinions (despite what the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution says). Now we are judgmental (yes, medicine does make judgments), childish, bashers (same name calling as from neriumites), and we are not real doctors (because we don’t agree with you?).

  8. Marci M says:

    Well dr john, I don’t sell Ldara, but was looking into it online when I ran across this little blog of yours. Sounds like you have a case of sour goji berries to me.

    • drjohn says:

      I am indeed soured by the hype and the lack of substance. This is but one egregious example of an industry run amok. Time to blow the whistle on this little lump of pseudoscience.

  9. Rachel says:

    I feel a responsibility to comment on here. First off, I’m not a distributor for L’dara, just a 28 year old mother of two, small-town real estate agent. I have extremely sensitize skin that is fair complected & prone to dryness. I started using L’dara 2 days ago after a medical aesthetician approached me & asked if myself & my mother (52 years old) would like to try the product. Although it’s only been a few days, we’re both amazed with the results! We have similar skin types and we’ve both been commenting on how soft & moisturized our skin feels. We haven’t purchased any yet but can almost guarantee we will be purchasing after our 10 day experiment is completed. We’re LOVING L’dara!!!

    • drjohn says:

      Pass the Kool-aid. Two days is much too too soon to see any real (lasting, anti-aging) effects. All you see is moisturization and/or plumping of the skin due to inflammation. For moisturization there are great products at Target for under $15. For inflammation, you have an abundance of overpriced MLM products derived from backyard bushes to choose from. I’d skip the MLM and just harvest your own bushes.

  10. Pam says:

    Wow, this is what you hear about on the news how people have nothing better than to do with their time than to blog about something they have no idea about. I started L’dara a week ago and within a few days my skin was noticeably healthier. I applied L’dara twice a day and my blemishes healed before my eyes. The next day they flatten and on day three they became less red and finally by day four they disappeared. I didn’t even wear coverup yesterday which was refreshing. I always check out reviews about products before I make a purchase and decided on doing so before I take the plunge in purchasing L’Dara. I have seen news reports about how people are paid to write reviews about a product to make it more attractive to buy or NOT BUY. Obviously this Doc John is one of those “Paid Writers” who has never tried the product. I will sign on today because it definitely is a healing product and one that shows results in a short period of time.

    • drjohn says:

      I know L’Dara the MLM wants to twist the truth to try to explain away the lack of science. But the barefaced facts are these. DrJohn has never been paid to write a review, and in fact derives no income from the industry whatsoever. Never has. He has been involved in nonprofit organizations exposing pseudoscience and health fraud for 30 years.

      Further, healing products never work rapidly, only inflammation does. Inflammation draws fluid to the wounded area, puffing it up, masking wrinkles. True dermal regeneration takes a lot longer. That’s the barefacedtruth. You may be out in public without coverup, but L’Dara sales force is becoming increasingly shrill, and lacking in veracity, in it’s bold quest to coverup the truth.

  11. Tangair says:

    L’Dara is from the same blue-sky marketing machine that is “Freelife”, an MLM started by Ray Faltinsky and another partner after their college days. Their “science team” is equally well entrenched in the pseudoscience of MLM smoke-and-mirrors. After all, it’s the same fellas that have been flogging the Chinese wolfberry for years. Oh, sure, they invoke a thin study done by New York contract lab AMA and they point to “their” special elixir. In fact, their mode of action with its marginal skin protective results was carried-out by a team in Asia years ago. They published their data and the founder of L’Dara has now taken it to the bank. Don’t feel sorry for him, though, he lives in a 19 million-dollar mansion / estate / tacky-shack in Rancho Santa Fe. Hey, if it’s money ya wanna make, by all means jump in. If you want to make a meaningful contribution to science and your fellow man, MLM prevarication is certainly not the way….

    • drjohn says:

      We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks, Tangair.

      • Carmela Martini says:

        I had two people approach me with this product, this past week. It’s just another pyramid scheme. I was glad to find this blog, because it reaffirms what I had suspected. The sellers seem to be completely sold on it showing me before and after pictures, but I took a good look at their skin, and it didn’t look anywhere better than mine, even though i’m older than they are. I’m sticking to my plain, whole fat yogurt masks, aloe, and whatever is safe to ingest. Thank you drjohn for the full and thorough truth.

  12. Minnie_Mo says:

    I was approached by a friend to try L’Dara this past week and like a good friend, I have been using it for several days. YES…I have seen results, in that my skin feels smoother and softer…and maybe even a bit more vibrant. But even after a week of use, I am also seeing some spurts hair growth on my face that had not been there before. Could this be a side effect of the “regeneration” properties of L’Dara? More than likely it is from over stimulation of the area.

  13. Estelle says:

    I find the pictures hard to believe when photo shop editing is at an all time high.

  14. John E says:

    Dr.John……keep up the good work.. I found this informational and well said. I came “looking” because I was asked to attend a meeting (which will oviously be a ‘presentation’) on this product. From the yea’s and nay’s I can immeditately see who has “Tasted the Kool-Aid”. Another classic example of Damn the facts – I know what I know (am told). The very simple FACT is: If this is even remotely true, many billionares would have been using/selling/marketing (only) this product to the amazed millions, for the last ?? years?

  15. Lisa says:

    It has made my skin a little smoother but I have used it for about a week and got two new zits today lol.. Plain and simple truth is it might be a good moisturizer but $90 a bottle? It would have to be the fountain of youth…

  16. nancy says:

    cindy grimley gave several links to check out the research on this product….you can try the product risk free for 30 days…..if you do not like L’Dara you can get your money back….so before you go slamming this remarkable product…..give it a try….what ya scared of “Drjohn”?

    you can check out the product on my website at… [WE EDITED OUT NANCY’S WEB ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER – WE ARE NOT HERE TO ADVERTISE HER BUSINESS]

    • drjohn says:

      Well, since ladies here are reporting zits and unwanted facial hair, what would happen to my androgynous face? Massive outcroppings of coarse hairballs? Speculation, but perhaps it’s something I should worry about.

  17. Kelly says:

    Thanks everyone for their comments. I was surfing for info because I thought it sounded to good to be true! I’m dabble in graphic design and the before and after photos on the video looked fixed to me. I didn’t see anything remarkable just light adjustments in the after photos. I think I’ll stick to my plan! This doesn’t sound worth the money or the risks!

  18. Gr8Shoes says:

    I’m glad I found this blog. After attending a “party” where I thought I would be introduced to a really great eye cream that I could order right then, instead I listened to long winded testimonials (thank God there was wine) about how the “money” changed people’s lives, not so much the product. They focused on “selling happiness” in the form of financial freedom if you jump on board this week! The ONLY reason I genuinely listened was because the person throwing the get together is a very well respected and well connected person in the area so I wanted to preform due diligent with regards to L’dara.
    Let’s start with the product. The flood of before and after pics are great, but what drjohn says makes total sense. The product has anti inflammatory properties, so yes it will soften lines and fade redness and blemishes temporarily (I’ve read that preparation h does the same) but you have to keep using it to continue to see results… It’s GENUS! Think about it, If L’dara was a miracle serum, you would only have to purchase one bottle to maintain that glow and they wouldn’t have a BUSINESS. This is what this is, A BUSINESS.
    A bit of advice, if you attend one of these parties, do not… under any circumstances… mention the words Multilevel Marketing OR Pyramid, they will FREAK! It’s a dirty word, so don’t do it. They prefer the gentler term, “Relationship Marketing”, appealing to the human side and “I care about YOU.” Again, genus.
    My hat’s off to these business individuals who decided to go this route, it’s smart I guess, but why? I don’t understand why, if the product is revolutionary and they want to share it with the general public, why not take it to QVC, HSN, department stores, big box, etc. Why the dog and pony show? Is the other route too competitive? I’m not being snarky, I’m genuinely curious. If L’dara is so great, why choose this platform?
    I won’t name the other MLM’s I’ve heard of, but I know for a fact, people profit, some handsomely from these types of business models, it’s just a matter of time and if it’s for you or not.
    Most people I know roll their eyes when introduced to ventures such as L’dara and others are ready to quit their 6 figure incomes with health benefits to join the team. To that, my mouth is agape! Seriously? I’m scared.

  19. Kim says:

    HI Dr. John, I was looking for the information on L’Dara and found your blog very informative. You said “Inflammation draws fluid to the wounded area, puffing it up, masking wrinkles.” So, what about how the blemish and redness seem to fade away? This is a genuine question because I too questioned the quick result of the product and would like to sincerely find out how it is working on skin and what causes this type of effect. Thank you for your response!

    • drjohn says:

      According to the microinflammatory hypothesis of aging, fluid can skin reduce redness by putting distance between capillaries and the surface. Optically, less red as a result. But look at deeper tissues for signs of inflammation.

  20. Samantha Vanderpool says:

    I went to refute this entire blog and it wouldn’t let me post my comments.

    • drjohn says:

      Wow, now that’s ambitious. Refute this entire blog? Every opinion, in every post and every comment reply, every bit of evidence, every reference to published peer-reviewed medical literature. The whole enchilada. We are anxious to see how you do that, Samantha.

  21. Jake says:

    And let me guess…they’ve got a great ground-floor business opportunity?

  22. josh says:

    I was researching l’dara and came across this blog and I was open minded about all the opinions even Dr John’s. And just seeing what people thought about l’dara and I was starting to lean toward dr John’s side for a bit but then I saw how Samantha was just sharing her thoughts and Dr John was completely rude…. What a [expletive deleted]! How could someone rely on a person who can’t even keep it together and be professional on his own blog? hah pull it together man

    • drjohn says:

      Samantha didn’t share any substantive thoughts. All she did was say that she could “refute this entire blog”. That’s a pretty big brag, and so far no substance to back it up. Now you call me vulgar names for merely pointing that out. I invited further dialog with “anxious to see how you do that, Samantha.” For that I am rude? And you, with your crude language and lack of substantive thoughts of your own, call me rude? While a flawed human like the rest of us, I credit myself with patience in dealing with bloviations.

  23. Sue says:

    Instead of looking for a quick fix and spending a ton of money on these products why don’t you just start by eating healthy and stop applying “junk” to your body. If you wouldn’t put it into your mouth you shouldn’t put it on your skin. Once I stopped using product on my face (after years of breaking out and spending an awful lot of money) and now only use a face cloth and warm water on my face, I stopped breaking out. I eat healthy including lots of fermented foods and at 63 years old people think I’m 10 years younger.

    • Denise says:

      Well said Sue!
      Sounds like Norwex, best facial cleaning program (only a special face cloth & warm water) I’ve ever used. I was curious about this D’Lara since a trusted friend offered to let me try it for 5 days (yes … she now sells it). Lots of passion here for and against D’Lara and I sincerely appreciate everyone’s input. I’ll just return the unopened package, thank you very much and continue with my Norwex lotions that have worked very nicely for me. Products that sound too good to be true usually are!

  24. G Michael Moore says:

    I am interested in your product and the comparison with L’dara. However I am seriously turned off by your sarcastic tone of gratuitous ridicule. Perhaps you simply have that love of polemics common to scientists and academics. However, if the facts are truly on your side, then why not stick to them? Your slanders on network marketing (a legitimate business model) and half-baked assumptions (based on one ingredient only) about competing product manufacturing costs, lead me to wonder about your objectivity as regards the science. This may be an unwarranted connection, but for me, an unavoidable one. In the end, I don’t like to do business with mean-spirited people who misrepresent facts in an effort to put other (legitimate) businesses down.

    • drjohn says:

      Here we go again. We are mean-spirited (Nerium folks like to call us “haters”), we “slander” MLM as a business model, and we are prone to “half-baked” assumptions because we look at ingredients (like the sacred cow gogi berry extract), and are thus not objective. Oh, and don’t forget the “competing” part – that is essential to discredit us (mind you, there are no scientists in ivory towers working on this stuff, so finding one who does not work on products would be difficult at best). Can’t any of you come up with some original reasons not to believe the docs? You just keep copying & pasting from one MLM hawked miracle cream to another.

      • G Michael Moore says:

        You make my point by responding with an ad hominem attack, rather than addressing my concerns.

        • drjohn says:

          After you broadcast to all who will listen that we are slanderers, you then come back and claim that we attacked you using an ad hominem fallacy. Seems a bit hypocritical perhaps. But, in truth, you misapprehend the term “ad hominem”. If we had attacked you as a person, not your ideas, that would have been an ad hominem. You seem to conflate criticism, or even parody, with attacks on your personality or some non-relevant part of your life. We merely challenged your ideas & arguments as being flawed, for various reasons which we state. That’s fair debate. Now in terms of addressing your concerns … well then what are those? Being turned off by our “sarcastic tone”? (we address that by saying we weren’t trying to turn you on). That you worry about our objectivity? (we address that with hmmmm, novel thought, you ought to try it yourself). That we are mean spirited? (we address that with one word … pphhhhhtttt). Well, utterance, not word.

  25. Nicole says:

    I am an Esthetician and it is true. These products only cover up problems not fix them! Skin cells are made from the inside… Which means what you eat, how much water you drink and how well you use spf will determine how well your skin renews itself. No miracle cream can change your dead skin cells that are on the outside of your face. Product does not penetrate the skin deep enough to effect the bottom layers where skin cells are made. The only thing that can make you develop new skin cells faster would be a chemical peel or vitamin A products which take off the outside layer so that new cells must rebuild which takes 30 days. So this cream might very well be causing just some side effect that is not permanent by any means. I wouldn’t spend 130 bucks or even 50 bucks on this. Go to Target like he said and buy some bottled water and spf and 10 dollar face lotion. 🙂

  26. Victoria Givens says:


    Dr. John,
    I’m not interested in your science dripping over details that don’t make it to the mirror or a serum that doesn’t invite me to the table and create wealth. [IN OTHER WORDS IF I CANNOT MAKE A BUCK ON A PRODUCT THEN IT’S NOT WORTHY OF ME]. Provide me support and a generous compensation package in exchange for my my circle of influence and production in a commission pay structure if you wish to compare yourself to these companies [I’M A VIP AND YOU HAVENT BEEN PAYING ME MY DUE]. No matter how well your product works, if it’s not tapping into the ability to elevate my financial reality relative to my productivity, your just another good idea that’s too expensive for me take advantage of. [FORGET SCIENCE- JUST PAY ME AND I WILL SELL YOUR STUFF – WHO CARES WHAT ITS REAL VALUE IS]

    Had I read in my research a leader in L’dara behaving as you have here I would have turned my back on the product. [AT LEAST THEY PAY ATTENTION TO ME] As a women we have huge power, hold decision power for billions of dollars in Health and Beauty products, decide elections and steer the entire temperament of our culture. [I AM WOMAN, HER ME ROAR!] The demographic that your tapping into is a little tired of men benefiting from our insecurities and when a lack of integrity taints the pool of your argument you’ve made a grave mistake. [NO $$ FOR ME = NO INTEGRITY FOR YOU] Your integrity matters, your attitude toward your target market is paramount. I’d live with my crow feet and saggy jowls before I’d ever put a dollar in your pocket. [ON THE OTHER HAND – IF YOU PAY ME I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR YOU]

    Promoting yourself on another products blog was tacky, behave yourself. [EDITOR’S NOTE – WE HAD TO REMOVE THE LINK TO HER URL SO SHE COULDN’T BE ACCUSED OF PROMOTING HERSELF



  27. Dani says:

    Actually Ldara is an ANTI INFLAMITORY most other serums make your face swell to make the wrinkles disappear. Ldara does not do that its a nutritional serum full of antioxidants! But dr john it’s perfectly ok! The best thing is this isn’t for everyone! So thanks for your opinion and allow those who love it to continue to love it n use if they see fit!

    • drjohn says:

      Can you offer proof that it is anti-inflammatory? Excuse us for not taking your word for it. I assume you are a seller via the MLM?

  28. Maeve says:

    I don’t usually respond to online discussions but want to make a few comments. As a VP of Marketing at a Bio-tech company, and someone who works with research scientists and the FDA everyday, I understand, appreciate and respect evidence based science. In fact, I would not have a job without it. Many do not realize that how the study is designed is critical to producing credible results that demonstrate efficacy and safety. Dr. John has many credible points. I am not hear to argue or even take time to dispute anything. But we are talking about a vanity product, not a cure for cancer.

    I for one have tried L’Dara–a gift from a friend who wants me to sell it. I despise MLM so that’s not happening. But in just 2 weeks my skin looks more amazing then ever. And I don’t care about the science. If I see results and am having no reaction or safety issues and feel great, why do I care about the science? If it stops working, Fine. I stop buying. But for now, I will enjoy the benefits of this product. Now cancer? That’s when I want to see every double blind, randomized, placebo controlled, multi centered clinical study that goes head-to-head with the gold standard comparator and tested on 1 million patients. That’s science.

    • drjohn says:

      Great comment and we thank you for adding this viewpoint. Yes, skin care is not cancer (well, sometimes it is). But there may be another principle that you are overlooking. It’s the infiltration of pseudoscience (and just plain trickery) into the public square in a way that erodes the value of science, and tarnishes it. If we say that truth doesn’t matter in skin care, then truth loses another skirmish. We are not equating cancer and aesthetics, but we are saying that truth is something to be preserved and defended whether the stakes are small or large. To say otherwise is akin to situational ethics. OK to lie about this product, but not about that one. Where do we draw the line? Shall we abolish the Federal Trade Commission, and do away with all the false advertising laws, unless they lie in a life threatening way? What about threatening your pocketbook? Your dignity?

      Now to say that the only science that is worthy of your attention is very large highly controlled human trials costing a billion dollars puts us all in a bind. There is no National Institute of Wrinkles to sponsor such a study. If you impose that on a skin care item it would be $10K per bottle. You want to know a really cheap way of knowing when they are fibbing? Go to PubMed and see if what they are telling you comports with known constructs. If it seems at odds, chances are it is at odds. Can’t defy the laws of physics and chemistry and physiology. You say you Don’t have the background to be able to discern the good science from the bad? Fine. Read BareFacedTruth and other web sites by scientists who 1. can tell the difference, at least in their field, and 2. care so much about science and truth and public health and welfare that they are willing to volunteer their time to be your “friend in the business”.

      And of course we might want to apply some logic to your skin turned amazing in two weeks comment. As a scientist so skeptical that only gold plated trials will do, you failed to apply your own standard by a long shot. The science here is somewhere near the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of quality and depth. Which is perhaps why you started by suggesting we throw science out the door. Anyone knowledgeable about skin care knows that two weeks is maybe just enough to repair a damaged skin barrier through hydration. For which you can buy products for $10 equally as effective. For true regenerative changes you need to devote a lot more time.

      You despise MLM’s? Now you are talking. Put ‘er there, partner. We agree.

  29. Maeve says:

    Ok. Here we are in total agreement. 150%. I was looking at this from the view point of lets “get real” and put this whole concept into perspective. Vanity products do not need this much anger and emotion. If I like this product, then let me just enjoy it without caring about the science.
    But you are correct for many reasons. I will preface that I do not know you, your company, and I am not being paid to make these comments. I did not even research your product websites. I will be fair and balanced in my response.
    Here is where people need to see many sides when it comes to products and how they are marketed.
    Every marketer is hired to sell products, despite the industry and the importance of the product.
    The FDA Pharma compliance guidelines that I am bound to would astound the public even when I have the most valid scientific trials for serious disease states that could prevent, treat and cure disease. I have material kicked back by just using the word “very or somewhat” in an educational brochure, costing me millions, that could be put back into research. All in the protection of not deceiving the public. Full transparency. Even though the science is the best you can do. With that said, many healthcare companies, particularly in nutraceuticals and dietary supplements, have egregious marketing tactics as does the beauty industry ( I started my career there. I know)). What is awful is that the majority of consumers are so uneducated that they buy into the hype without investigating the real truth. In fact, I had one company state they “prevent heart disease”. Huh! Blatant lie. What was more disturbing is that HCP’s (some very educated people) were believing it and purchasing it at a convention. Really?

    Here was my contribution to saving people from the sheer trickery that makes all of us look bad and discredit the validity of our true science. I felt obligated to have my attorneys report them. They were shut down in a hot minute and investigated by the FDA. They will be fined. And I will tell you they were not a competitor. My motivation was not revenue driven. I can’t do this for every product. But for something like that, I had to. So I can see how this blog is designed to just assist the public in being aware of how you can protect yourself. And let us protect the true science that can be used to save lives.

    As a marketer I know ALL the tricks on how to spin the data. We are masters at it. L’Dara is no exception. I poked holes in so much on their website and understood exactly the decisions they were making and the audience they were after. I am sure even your company and the products you support do the same. In fact, I know they do. Because that is what we are paid for.

    I agree with the above poster who said if this stuff was that good, put it into mass retail and make billions. But they wont. It takes too much money, time, effort, compliance constraints and profit margins are ridiculously low. They would rather have “relationship” reps do it for them, who call every soul they have ever known to buy it. They take advantage of their relationship with them. They hope we feel bad if we don’t because they are our friend, co-worker and relative. This is on the hope of quick wealth. I have a strict policy that no one in the company solicits anything, including girl scout cookies That is MLM at its best. And it works. Its a multi billion dollar business. But if you want to do it, your choice. That’s American capitalism at its best and I am a capitalist.

    I see the point that this blog is just to educate and broaden your knowledge. Don’t just use this resource but as many as possible before you spend your money. We did not have this access to information just a few years ago. knowledge is power. Search for as much as you need to make the best decision. Then do what you want.

    Now as far as L’Dara. I love it so far. I could be the poster child for it –at this point. That may change. But for now, I have the choice of being sold on it and this blog will not change my mind. Just like getting better or being cured from a disease, results is the bottom line for me. Isn’t that the end result for everything? And for me, for a vanity product, results are what I am basing my decision on! Hope this helped. Even just a little.

    • drjohn says:

      Well said. Come back after you have used the product for another month or two and let us know what anti-aging transformations have taken place. Take pictures and share them with us. We can be swayed by a good testimonial.

  30. Al Stevens says:

    Thanks Dr. John for this blog. I have a friend that is boasting all over social media how this product has changed her life!
    Luxury car, bonus $$ all the typical illusions! She’s a founding executive member! I’ve been approached by many MLM or pyramid schemes and this for sure smells like ones. Thankfully I’m smart enough to sniff one as soon as they approach me! Keep up the good work!

  31. A says:

    Ladara’s a scam!!
    I feel like the idiot here. I’ve used there product, along with two family members and a friend which it didn’t work for any of us! I’m posting to tell all of you don’t buy it or sell it. I’m one of those honest people and didn’t jump on the ban wagon to sell until I noticed results and I didn’t!! I was told by the up line person to wait after trying to return it after 30 day’s to see because it took her three months. I believed her because i know as an aesthetician things take time, Of course by then I couldn’t get my money back and corporate had nothing to say except it was past the 30 day return. I’m left holding 9 bottles of expensive shit and haven’t had any hand holding since i don’t love it and wont sell it. So for all you lover of it out there that can’t keep enough of it, let me know I have it for sale.
    Thanks Drjohn I wish i would have seen this blog before jumping into this.

  32. f says:

    You know… I think maybe you should try it to give more vadility to it. Never hurts right?

  33. Sarah Donovan says:

    This is one of the greatest blog/ blog posts I have ever read. Dr. John thank you for your BareFacedTruth (see what I did there) on all things skincare. With as many products on the market claiming to do this, that, and the other thing its nice to have a scientifically based side of things. You have a new avid reader and I will be scouring your website daily!

    • drjohn says:

      Thank you Sarah for your words of encouragement.

    • M says:

      Dr. John,
      Keep up the good work that you do. I find it utterly amazing how people can be swayed by a slick sales person. The MLM industry has ruined many relationships because of their methods and the questionable products they sell. When this one has run its course somebody will come up with another “miracle” product that they say will do so many good things. The only thing they do is remove money from the ill-informed prospects pocket into their own in a very unscrupulous way.
      Thank you again for exposing these crap products and their questionable marketing techniques.

  34. John says:

    I am not a user of any skin products. I have no dog in this hunt. That being said, I loathe haughty, condescending schmucks. You, “drjohn,” are a haughty, condescending schmuck. I would never buy any product you pimp for, and I would encourage everyone I know to do likewise.

    • drjohn says:

      So much nicer than the other names I have been called. But to correct – I do not pimp for any product here, I pimp for truth and for real science, as opposed to pseudoscience. Clearly we have stepped on the toes of someone here. The question remains – why does he care? Not a user of skin care? No dog? So, how did he end up at BFT? Why does he hate drjohn? Very curious, I must say.

  35. Susan says:

    Just a note. Thank you for mentioning, as I scanned through this, that goji berries can cause a rash in people with latex allergies. I have a friend who is launching her business tonight and asked me to go. I have several skin sensitivities and have to be careful in what I use. I had an allergic reaction to a lipliner I was asked to test drive. I developed blisters in 2 days. There is nothing like a line of blisters around your lips to educate you on the lack oF oversight in the cosmetics and supplement industry. My family thinks I am terrible because I don’t jump on every business opportunity out there. They believe I am cynical and terrible. I am actually just careful and do my own groundwork before buying into what I know is sometimes not only not helpful but dangerous. A couple I know got into a MLM product that claimed to eliminate the need for a dentist. It sure made their teeth look pretty for awhile. They both now have gorgeous teeth all right–dentures. Thank you, Dr. John for reviewing the product and taking the heat. My skin thanks you too.

  36. charlotte says:

    I have a question for dr. John:
    why does this matter to you so much?
    you may be right that most people who try this product only notice marginal benefits.
    why does that matter, some people have noticed a lot of benefit. my mom loves it. and no I do not sell it. I have noticed years coming off her face recently with this product she seems happy. and this was a woman who was only able to use olive oil on her face for 15 years because of skin sensitivities.
    maybe this is a pyramid scheme marketing does that actually change the fact that it might be a product worth having?
    if you’re really not being paid by anyone which I find hard to believe. then you might want to consider the fact that you seem to be aggressively attacking what appears to be simply people’s opinions.
    whether this is based on pseudoscience or not the evidence appears to indicate that it works for slot of people.

  37. anonymous says:

    Dr. JOHN,


    • drjohn says:

      I didn’t put L’Dara on the market. Blame them! I already did a bunch of “honest” products. But (to quote JN in A Few Good Men): “You can’t handle the truth!”

  38. Kaci Gables says:

    Dr John
    Thanks for sharing this informative blog. Now i know that what I thought from the get-go, mt gut instinct was this is just another Nerium, Jeuness, etc. Too many MLMs promising fortunes, work when you want, minimal investment , what have you, I’m just done! Thanks again!

  39. hilarious says:

    I agree drjohn came across in rebuttal as indignant and childish. You were dead wrong sir. Her revelation about you producing products is important. For a newbie like me, DISCLOSURE is necessary. I never heard of any of you and am trying to educate myself. Don’t misrepresent. I would never try any of your products now just because of your attitude.

    • drjohn says:

      How many disclosures would it take to appease you? For the one millionth time, DrGeorge and I disclose we take our science and make products from them. We are quite proud of them. And we teach widely at academic meetings of physicians that the industry (we call it the skin trade) has a rotten stink from all the pseudoscience and toxic nonsense purveyed wantonly, often by MLM schemes. Our “attitude” is set by the fact that the truth matters. There are health and safety issues, not to mention pickpockets out there. We won’t compromise on truth so you will buy our products. In fact – we hereby forbid you from every buying any!

  40. Karen says:

    I bought into L’dara from friends which most of us do. We buy because we trust other’s that are already using know what they are talking about. Very few people using and selling this product have any education in skin care or product’s. So you have hundreds of uneducated people marketing and selling a product that only know what they are told about L’ dara and repeat it.
    L’dara broke out three of my friends I had try it. I know number of other people since that have had the same experiance. These were all people that take very good care of their skin.
    What is more concerning than that is many of the people I know using the product also do many other treaments on thier skin, laser, fillers, botox, etc. I know many using L’dara on their young kids. So what is the real true here. Anyone in skin care does understand how long it takes for true results in skin.
    The remarkable things I read do give cause for concern. It does matter if it is causing inflamation under the skin to puff it up and make it look better. The long term effects of this may not be as exciting.

  41. Missie says:

    I came upon this blog and did read through the comments.

    I recently purchased a bottle of the serum at a woman’s show . One thing I did notice o n the bottle that the marketing rep showed me was that the serum contained was aluminum.

    What is the purpose of this in a skincare product ? Then I noticed on the one I bought it was not listed ?

    I am debating about returning this. I don’ t understand why a mineral that has had alot of controversy about putting it in skin care is there ?

    Maybe you could comment on this ?


    • drjohn says:

      We have not heard of aluminum being added to this product. Aluminum is commonly used as a sun protectant (so-called physical sunblocks that sit on the surface of the skin). Other forms of aluminum are used in antiperspirant formulations. Aluminum is a pro-oxidant and could increase the potential for oxidative damage in the skin if incorrectly used in a formulation such that the ion diffuses through the skin protective barrier.

  42. Barbara Bols says:

    I’ve been using L’Dara since June, and I loved the product! My neck started itching maybe a month or two ago, and I knew it was the product be still used it, now my eyes, and the area above my lips are itchy and peeling. I am stopping the product today. This is extremely miserable. Hopefully I can take an allergy pill later and things will be better, but now I have 3 unused boxes to try to get rid of!!!!! Not happy 🙁

  43. Frank Reid says:

    Your clinical trial results are impressive. Which independent third party lab did you use or was this an “in house” trial? Just wondering.

  44. knoell says:

    My, many comments here. I would like to add a few things. My sister introduced me to L’dara. I’ve been using it for several years. I take good care of my skin anyway,eat healthy and I feel that this product was a plus for my skin. It has never caused irritation that I am aware of, nor caused me to break out, nor caused unwanted hair growth. I ran out and have not used it for several months now and feel that my skin looks a bit dryer and more wrinkly. So I am going to order some more. What I did not like is that it is so expensive. I do not think it warrants that cost. The fact that is MLM doesn’t bother me. I’m very familiar with MLM. It is a valid form of marketing, as a previous blogger commented. It is one of many ways of selling a product. I will note however, that I have lost my shirt in MLM. It is just not for me. However I like this product and like having it as part of my regime. I got many comments after I first started it. I make it last for several months to help keep the cost of it down. I agree that the research they comment on is un-researchable, haha ,not to mention it was one study only. Not much of a basis on which to boast science, results or statistics and it was a very small group in the study. I always have my doubts about before and after photos, never know when to believe them or if I can really see a difference.

  45. nancy says:

    Barbara bols, I’d love to buy your product from you!( If Dr John will share my info with you) I’ve used it for years now, no problems. Nancy in colorado

  46. HEATHER says:

    I was interested in L’Dara after seeing photographic results from people’s cell phones, so wanted to try it before buying. I was told there were no samples to try, so decided to try a three month auto-ship that included the supplement. I was excited to use the product and see the results. I even took before pictures of myself. I started using the serum and right away noticed that my skin felt itchy, especially on my cheeks. I also used the supplement. I didn’t notice any amazing results (I kept waiting) and continued using both products for a month. One morning, after applying the serum, my skin turned beat red and hot, even my daughter said it was red! This lasted for about an hour! I thought it might be a fluke so continued using. I never had the same reaction again, but the itching and dry feelings continued. I quit using both products after a month and did not see ANY results other than the adverse reaction to the serum. I am sure the product works great for some people and am very happy for them, I for one will continue aging gracefully and find some natural moisturizer to use on my face that won’t break the bank.

  47. Danielle_See_LE says:

    Dr.John first off i would like to thank you for not backing down and kowtowing to some of the people who have commented here. in the spirit of transparency i will say that i am a Licensed Esthetician. that being said- i just heard about this L’Dara product this evening and it causes me to roll my eyes “here we go again with another MLM skincare product” I make it my business to educate my clients about their skin care so they can make the best decisions for themselves about their own skin and i am here to be more of an advocate for them. i will say i have hated MLM’s long before i became a skin therapist- my mother (bless her heart) is an eternal hopeful like most people out there who wind up getting sucked into these companies …. so dr john i will be continuing to dig thru your website and i hope that i will continue to be as pleased with what i read as i was with this post and subsequent running commentary- you may come off as a little aloof to some but so far it sounds to me like you have put in the HARD work educating yourself and doing the research so as far as I’m concerned you have earned the right to put defensive and (some) ignorant commenters in their place. i look forward to future posts from you and i will be bookmarking your page to continue my research of you. because as far as I’m concerned the day we choose to stop learning is the day we have no business calling ourselves a professional in this or any industry.

  48. Dallas Sid says:

    I’m 58 and I started using L’dara 3 weeks ago. Now I can’t even get into a bar without getting carded for my age. It’s a miracle!

    • drjohn says:

      Wow! That is a miracle (if true). If you indeed look under 21 and are in fact 58 then we will want to document this miracle for science and posterity. Please send in a current good quality face picture, plus one before the miracle, to docs@barefacedtruth.com for validation of your claims. If your claim doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, or you simply fail to send us the documentation, then we will be inclined to publicly declare you a big fat liar and con artist. This will make the l’dara company look like a promotor of big fat lies and specious cons, which could hurt your income. So please respond.

  49. Berdene Spring says:

    I don’t sell L’dara I just use it and I love it!

    • drjohn says:

      Berdene, your IP and e-mail addresses are easily traced. Your Linked in profile identifies you thus: Berdene Spring, Free Life independent marketing executive at Free Life. For those who don’t know, l’dara and FreeLife are intimately connected. Same Gogi berry crap. Read all about that here. Note the connection to known anti-cancer quack Earl Mindell. FreeLife Marketing Executives are free to introduce and enroll other FreeLife Marketing Executives and Customers to L’dara International. See agreement here. Note- founder “Faltinsky’s focus appears to have shifted over to L’dara”. So, Berdene, we call “liar, liar, pants on fire” on you. This is why we hate MLM’s. So filled with deceptive tactics.

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